Giving Compass’ Take:
• RAND Corporation conducted a study examining the risk factors that explain disadvantaged children underperforming in school and ways to mitigate these challenges through early childhood care and education.
• RAND finds that the caliber of early childcare professionals plays an important role in early childhood care. How accessible is it for early childhood educators in the UK to achieve higher qualifications for these teaching roles?
• Read more about the importance of early childhood education and care.
In the UK, the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education project (EPPSE) provides some indication that high-quality of early childhood education and care (ECEC) is associated with long-term improvements in outcomes, with particularly strong long-run effects for children with parents who have lower levels of qualifications.
This limits the generalisability of these findings to the UK and their applicability to the government’s agenda on improving social mobility by reducing the social gradient of educational outcomes, and we make specific recommendations on research to address this.
Nevertheless, this report adds to our knowledge of the wider literature on early years and child development, allowing us to make recommendations about the areas which show promise in terms of supporting the development of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Disadvantaged children underperform educationally partly because on average they experience more risk factors, including poor parenting and home learning environments which impede their cognitive development. If the intention is that ECEC is to at least partially compensate for this, then in our view there are important principles to bear in mind:
- Interventions which seek to address multiple causes of educational underperformance for disadvantaged children may have a better chance of success. EIF concludes in a forthcoming report on early childhood competencies that two-generation models of ECEC, supporting both parent and child, are a promising way of improving outcomes for disadvantaged children, as they address multiple risk factors.
- The caliber of ECEC professionals likely matters. The skills of early years professionals are usually considered an element of structural quality, and so outside the scope of our review, but higher pre-service qualifications and in-service training have been found to be associated with the provision of higher-quality and stimulating ECEC activities.
Read the full article about early childhood care and education by Tom McBride and Julie Belanger at RAND Corporation.
Early Childhood Education is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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